Are you a prison officer who feels nervous about dealing with Muslims on the wings?
Are you a prison chaplain who wants to know how your chaplaincy affects the lives of prisoners?
Are you a policymaker who needs a robust base of evidence for Islam in prison?
Are you an academic or a journalist seeking ground-breaking social science in a contentious field?
Based on original evidence from 279 Muslim prisoners and 79 prison officers, we explore how Muslims come to be incarcerated, how the practice of Islam affects prison life and rehabilitation, the types of Islam and the effects of Islamic conversion in prison and the professional practice of officers and chaplains. We also investigate the common belief that incarceration fosters Islamist extremism and suggest improvements to faith provision and rehabilitative opportunities for Muslim prisoners.
“Wow! What an insightful and jaw-dropping work. This research is rich in useful information which is clearly supported with statistics. The authors keep a professional balance between a critique and an appreciation of the development of Muslim Prison Chaplaincy in the UK and offer a fascinating comparison with Switzerland and France. An invaluable resource for prison chaplains of all faiths.” Maqsood Ahmed OBE, first Muslim advisor to HM Prison Service
“At last, a readable and well-researched account that explodes the myths about Muslims in our prisons. A must-read for all professionals who work with prisons and the Ministry of Justice.” Eoin McLennan-Murray, former President of the Prison Governors’ Association and former Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform
"This book provides a groundbreaking insight into the complexities of Muslim imprisonment. It triumphantly overcomes the sensationalism that often surrounds this topic by offering a rigorous and balanced intervention." Leon Moosavi, University of Liverpool
“This book carefully and sensitively explores the first-hand views and experiences of prisoners, prison chaplains, prison officers and managers, offering a 360-degree view of a complex and often contentious subject. It deserves to be on every prison wing and in the library of any scholar of religion in prison.” Sophie Gilliat-Ray OBE, Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, Cardiff University
Matthew Wilkinson is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Cardiff University.
Lamia Irfan is Applied Research Lead at technology and management consultancy Capco and former Research Fellow at SOAS University of London.
Muzammil Quraishi is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Salford.
Mallory Schneuwly Purdie is Assistant Professor at the Swiss Centre for Islam and Society at the University of Fribourg.
Foreword – Sir David Calvert-Smith and Eoin McLennan Murray
Introduction: A tale of three prisoners
1. Where does Islam come from and who are Muslim prisoners?
2. What is Islam in prison?
3. Finding their faith: why do prisoners choose Islam?
4. What types of Islam do prisoners follow?
5. Mainstream Islam in prison
6. Islamism and Islamist Extremism in prison
7. The lives of Muslim prisoners: opportunities and risks
8. Caring for Muslim prisoners: Muslim prison chaplaincy
9. Managing Muslim prisoners: treading a middle path between naivety and suspicion
10. Conclusion: The Virtuous Cycle of Rehabilitation and Avoiding the Vicious Cycle of Extremism